SAN DIEGO — Californians are paying more for gas compared to the rest of the country and it's time to get ready because gas prices are going to continue to rise. Holiday travel is picking up as we head into the holiday weekend.
As California's costly state gas tax increases July 1, volunteers with Reform California will gather Friday at gas stations across the state to protest the gas tax increases and collect signatures on a state ballot measure petition they say will block costly gas tax hikes in the future.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County dropped Friday for the 16th consecutive day, decreasing 2.1 cents to $6.23.
Here is a break down on how much prices will go up and what the tax is paying for.
How much is California’s gas tax going up?
The State’s transportation website lists that starting Friday, July 1, the gas tax increases by 5.6%. That takes the current tax up to 53.9 cents per gallon, which means you’ll be paying 2.8 cents more per gallon.
Richard Rider, Chairman of San Diego Tax Fighters says this tax hike is coming at the worst possible time for San Diegans.
"The tax goes up more this year because inflation is up so instead of having a one-in increase or two cents now it is three," Rider said.
Why is the gas tax going up?
Senate Bill 1, which state lawmakers approved in 2017, set for there to be an automatic increase every year to incrementally raise the fuel excise tax.
Where will all this gas tax money go?
The state says most of it goes to fixing roads, repairing potholes, rebuilding bridges and to improve public transportation.
“I think Californians support those ideas, but there is a limit to their patience with the legislature and the governor when gas prices are so high that they just want relief now," said State Senator Brian Jones of Dist. 38.
Jones says he supports President Biden's call to suspend federal and state gas taxes and says he wishes Governor Gavin Newsom would get on board and pull from California’s nearly $100 billion surplus by dropping the gas tax by 70 cents.
“It’s really a double whammy for these families in San Diegans who are already struggling to make ends meet every month," Jones said.
Is there any relief or gas rebates coming?
California's state legislature announced this week it's creating a new committee to investigate why prices are so high. California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon says Californians could expect relief very soon but didn’t specify what or when.
“We’re following the normal course of the budget, and the way that the disbursement would work in respect to rebates. There are some ideas about debit cards, and some ideas about a check, and there is also direct deposit through FTB as a third option we are looking at," Rendon said.
What can San Diegans do about the tax increase?
Jones says call your assemblymember, senator and the Governor's office and say how these prices are impacting your daily life and "encourage the governor to suspend the gas tax so that we can get relief immediately to Californians."
A contact line for the Governor's office is 916-445-2841.
WATCH RELATED: Gas prices slightly fall, will the trend last? (June 2022)